Australian airline Qantas announced it will use biofuels on its flights from Los Angeles International airport starting in 2020. The firm said it will purchase 30 million litres annually of a 50/50 blend of plant-derived biofuel and conventional fuel to power its flights between Los Angeles and Australia. US bioenergy company SG Preston will supply the biofuel on a ten-year contract. The fuel consists of 50% renewable jet fuel produced from non-food plant oils, blended with 50% traditional jet fuel.

Airline Virgin Australia is engaging in a two-year biofuel trial for flights out of Brisbane Airport. US renewable fuel and chemical producer Gevo Inc is supplying the fuel, made from sugarcane bagasse, molasses, wood waste and agave. Gevo has already tested its biofuel with Alaska Airlines, the US Air Force, US Army and US Navy.

Airlines around the world have struggled to move from the test phases of biofuel to its widespread commercial use during the last decade due to its cost and the difficulty of finding the right feedstock to reach commercial production levels.

US start up Zunum Aero plans to start delivering hybrid electric planes in 2022. The first Zunum Aero is likely to sell for somewhere in the range of $3 million. The company says its jet will seat up to 12 people, fly up to 700 miles, and have operating costs of 8 cents per seat mile, below the operating costs of small turboprops and business jets powered by jet fuel. CEO Ashish Kumar said:

“Our operating costs are about 60-90 percent lower than that of comparable turboprops and business jets. On shorter legs the costs are below what a regional jet would be. This is the first time in 70 years that you actually get a dramatically new propulsion system entering the business.”

Mach thinks Self-Flying Planes May Arrive Sooner Than You Think. Here’s Why.

The city of Cologne, Germany will have the largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses in Europe. The city announced it is purchasing 30 new fuel cell buses as well as building two new hydrogen fuel stations to serve these vehicles. The stations will be operational in 2018, ready for the buses when they arrive in 2019. In addition, hydrogen stations that already exist in the region will also be expanded and upgraded in order to provide more fueling support to new vehicles.

Swedish engineering giant ABB is launching high power 150-350 kilowatt (kW) electric car chargers. They will be introduced at the Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany this week. The chargers can be used for electric buses and trucks as well as cars. The company says the 375 A output single power cabinet can charge a 400 volt car at full 150 kW continuously. The addition of Dynamic DC power sharing technology, allows a two-power cabinet charging system to charge a couple of EVs simultaneously, with up to 350 kW. The chargers will be sold to operators of car charging networks. The system is modular and operators can decide to later add more charging cabinets for more power or charging stalls for more access points.

Italian automaker Ferrari says it will not be building electric and autonomous cars.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said his company is losing up to $20,000 a car on its electric Fiat 500. The 500e sells in the US for about $33,000 and can travel 87 miles on a single charge.

Japanese automaker Nissan says if you own a 2011 to 2015 LEAF, replacing the battery will cost you $5,499 plus installation. The battery replacement takes about 3 hours. The original battery goes back to Nissan for recycling or use in a grid storage system. The battery comes with a warranty of 8 years/100,000 miles against defects and 5 years/60,000 miles against capacity loss.

Korean automaker Hyundai announced it has started a car sharing service using electric vehicles the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The service will use 100 Hyundai Ioniq electric cars. While the service is based in Amsterdam, customers will be able to drive the cars all over the Netherlands. Drivers can pay by the minute, hour, or day, depending on their usage. The service is starting with 100 Ioniq EVs in Amsterdam.

UK drivers could get paid for owning an electric car under new plans from Japanese automaker Nissan. Working with Ovo Energy, The “vehicle to grid” technology will allow owners of Nissan’s electric cars to connect their batteries to the national grid during low-demand, cheap tariff periods. They can then use the electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery at home and at work when costs are higher, or even sell surplus electricity back to the grid and make a profit. The first installations are set for January 2018. The ability to store electricity in thousands of batteries across the country will help maximise the use of renewables which are produced only when conditions are right, the companies said. It could also reduce the need for new power stations and upgrades to the grid. After installing a special charger in a customer’s home, Ovo will take over the management of the car’s battery, with owners able to set a minimum amount of charge they want for driving the next day. Ovo will then automatically trade electricity from the battery, topping it up during off-peak periods when power costs about 4 pence per kilowatt-hour, and selling it at peak times for about four times as much.The savings would cover the £350-£400 annual cost of charging an electric car. The cars’ batteries could also help energy networks cope with the increasing intermittent wind and solar power on the system, by returning power to the grid at times of peak demand and smoothing out inconsistencies in energy supply.

Forbes tells us How Electric Cars Could Help the Power Grid Become More Efficient, Less Expensive.

CleanTechnica explains how electric cars work and how to extend their range.

 

 

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